mi-montagna-160

Salvatore Montagna's body was pulled out of the Assomption River, northeast of Montreal last month. (CBC)

Quebec provincial police have made five arrests in connection with the death of alleged Mafia boss Salvatore Montagna of New York.

One of the people arrested was Raynald Desjardins, 59, a close associate of Montreal's reputed Mafia don, Vito Rizzuto.

Montagna's body was fished out of the Assomption River on Nov. 24 in Charlemagne, northeast of Montreal. He had been shot.

U.S. authorities said he once headed New York's powerful Bonanno crime family.

Vittorio Mirachi, 34, Felice Racaniello, 27, and two other unnamed suspects were also arrested.

A sixth person police are linking to Montagna's death, Jack Simpson, is already in prison for a parole violation.

Simpson rents the home in Île Vaudry, northeast of Montreal, where Montagna was shot.

The suspects police named will be charged with first-degree murder. The other two will face lesser charges related to the shooting death.

Sixteen search warrants were carried out.

Desjardins was the suspected target of a shooting in Laval in mid-September. He escaped with non-life-threatening injuries.

The arrests were carried out by Quebec provincial police, with the help of the RCMP and the Montreal, Laval and Longueuil police forces.